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Successful Student Investment Program Gets a Home

Donor Jeff Van Harte Lauded for His Involvement and Giving
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Past and present members of Cal State Fullerton’s Applied Securities Analysis Program — many whose careers stemmed from their experience in the student investment management program — joined campus officials and donor Jeffrey Van Harte in a Friday, Dec. 2, celebration for the opening of the Titan Capital Management Center.

A $1.5 million gift from Van Harte, a 1980 business alumnus and chair and chief investment officer of Jackson Square Partners, underwrote the state-of-the-art investment center.

“This is a dream come true — and without the support of Jeff Van Harte, it wouldn’t have come true,” said Anil Puri, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, who formerly served as dean of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. Van Harte’s latest gift also funds the expansion of the ASAP fund that the alumnus helped create.

“Jeff worked with faculty and of course, invested money into the program. But it’s not only the funding, but the time and effort, and the people he has brought into the program.”

President Mildred García agreed, thanking both Van Harte and his wife, Melissa Smith, for their support of not only Mihaylo College, but the University as a whole.

“Jeff gives to so many things on campus and is a member of the (CSUF) Philanthropic Board, where he serves as president. He also gives time to students, coming often to campus,” García said. “He gives of his time but also his heart and his soul, and because of him, I believe that it’s not only what, but how you make of your life.”

“The Titan Capital Management Center is a classroom, as well as a business investment group meeting center and conference room. It’s a home for ASAP and will enhance Mihaylo College, expanding the opportunity we offer students in experiential learning,” explained Morteza Rahmatian, interim dean of Mihaylo College. “It also enhances faculty teaching, and because of that, it will forever have a positive impact on student lives.”

“I am humbled by the turnout today,” said Van Harte. “Lots of people have contributed to the success of this program and were a part of its development. Because of this collaboration, we have developed a really strong program.

“It takes so much to put this program together, and I thank the faculty for all that they have done. It couldn’t have happened without you,” he stressed. “Always remember it is about the students and providing them the high-impact practices like this program provides.”

The program’s impact was readily apparent through the sentiments of the many alumni in the audience, like 2016 graduate Christian Alvarez, who works for the financial services firm Edward Jones.

“ASAP was a bit of a start up when I was involved, but because of that it made you stand up for your convictions. That was the value, the real learning by doing things on your convictions, your gut, and maybe losing money,” he explained. “The program prepped me for my career. It created a passion for the markets, for learning and for the job.”

“I credit ASAP for developing my analytical and writing skills. It made me very competitive,” stresses Brian Ross ’14, who works at Nestlé. “It’s absolutely incredible: three years ago, we were on the fifth floor of Mihaylo Hall in a small, cramped room. Now we actually have room and technology. This has created a space where students can talk and debate, share ideas and problems. It encourages students, it helps them.”

“I’m looking forward to using this center,” said Boris Sevo, a senior who will begin working at Marshall & Stevens in January. “The ASAP program is an incredible team-orientated experience with its practical research focus, an emphasis on making presentations and being able to debate decisions. All of us love living it, breathing it. We’ve been very lucky to have the support of our teachers and Jeff.”